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Our News

3 May 2012

Deputy Minister for Skills praises Cardiff and Vale College’s work on overcoming deprivation

Deputy Minister for Skills Jeff Cuthbert AM has visited Cardiff and Vale College to attend a celebration breakfast after the College won a prestigious award for Overcoming Deprivation.

The minister presented College staff and its many partners with a certificate to mark the success of CAVC’s Entry to Vocational Skills (EVS) course. The course, developed by the College in collaboration with Social Services, Careers Wales and employers, provides vocational skills and, where appropriate, basic skills and personal development for young people from deprived backgrounds.

Cardiff and Vale College was the only Welsh college to win one of the Association of College’s Beacon Awards, which recognise the quality of education provided by colleges across the UK. The Overcoming Deprivation category was sponsored by the Welsh Government.

Jeff Cuthbert AM said: “The Entry to Vocational Studies programme is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when the young person is at the centre of a college’s planning, teaching and support. I understand the programme took a full year to develop, and that it has been carefully tailored to help learners build their confidence and gain the skills employers need. This is not a ‘quick fix’, but as the students themselves have shown, investing the time can lead to massive long-term rewards.”

He went on to praise the programme for proving the importance of working in partnership. “It couldn’t have succeeded without the College, Careers, Social Services and employers working closely together to meet each young person’s needs,” he continued. “We hear about collaboration and joined-up services; but, this is what it means in practice – each organisation putting aside its own interests and red tape to focus instead on the learner.”

One such employer that has worked with the College to help make the EVS programme a success is Morrisons. Neil O'Doherty, Head of Retail

HR Operations, said: "Morrisons is passionate about helping young unemployed people get back into work so we were delighted to be able to support this excellent programme.

“For many of these youngsters the chance to get some experience of the world of work and to hear about how some of our senior managers have progressed their careers is really important. It provides the impetus for young people who face many challenges to get into training, learn new skills and start to forge their own career.”

The breakfast was followed by a dissemination event, where colleges, secondary schools, community groups and other agencies were invited to hear all about the EVS programme. This involved an overview of teaching and learning strategies, the multi-agency approach the College has adopted, employers talking about corporate social responsibility and the programme’s impact on business and a DVD of students sharing their experience of the scheme.

CAVC Head of Social Engagement and Community Collaboration Denise Olander said: We are proud to be recognised for the innovative and dynamic multi agency partnership work that has led to a life changing experience for some of Cardiff's most disadvantaged young people.

“The commitment and skill of the teachers, support staff, social workers and learning coaches has resulted in many young people achieving 10 qualifications which has given them the opportunity to progress into higher level courses and or employment. This is true partnership working, providing a wrap around service to enable young people to become successful and hopefully this will lead to sustainable employment opportunities.”